Days before their scheduled closing date of Sunday, April 30th, Bryce’s Cafeteria is drawing guests in mass amounts. Many have travelled near and far to get one final meal before the opportunity is lost.
Bryce K. Lawrence Sr. opened Bryce’s Cafeteria in downtown Texarkana on February 16, 1931 before leaving to fight in World War II. He opened Bryce’s with two cooks he had “borrowed” from Morrison’s Cafeteria in Shreveport, where he had worked his way through college. One of the cooks made pies in the restaurant for over 50 years, until his passing.
Over the past nearly 86 years, Bryce’s Cafeteria has served as an extension of the family dinner table. Leo McCoun, who has worked at the restaurant for almost 58 years, plans to retire.
“ I just want to retire, garden, and do what I want to.”
Leo recalls the famous guests that have visited Bryce’s, such as Ellen DeGeneres or Ross Perot and Barbara Walters. “ I waited on Ross Perot when he came in and still remember which table he sat at.”
Reba Jennings from Magnolia recalls eating in the downtown location, “It was the early 60’s and the very first time we went my mother told me I could get whatever I wanted. I chose french fries and gravy. My family loved the peach pie.”
Many reminisced about the old building and the spiral stairs, butlers, and long lines. Debbie Cooper shared, “my friend, Patty Bomar, from south texas grew up in Texarkana, she’s in Canyon Lake now, but she went to school with Richard Lawrence and is making a trip here tomorrow for one last time.”
Other guests in line said they traveled from Dekalb twice a week and always made a stop at Bryces.
Bryce’s has been a landmark and destination point for Texarkana for over eight decades. The memories and impact it has left on the community will long be remembered by the many guests and employees who were fortunate enough to visit while in operation.
Bryces Cafeteria will close indefinitely Sunday, April 30th.